Frank’s Faves on Fridays

June 18, 2010

Barry And The Tamerlanes – “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (1963)

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I was mildly surprised when I found out this was from 1963, because it sounds to me like a standard 50’s song, with standard 50’s chord progressions. And I liked it. I also liked the name of the group. Up until now, the only “Tamerlane” I knew was the Handel opera Tamerlano. I can now add Barry And The Tamerlanes to my list of Tamerlane-related knowledge. When the singers kept on singing “I wonder, wonder, wonder…” I wondered, too – I wondered who wrote The Book of Love.

The Edgar Winter Group – “Maybe Someday You’ll Call My Name” (1974)

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This is Edgar Winter? I thought he was heavier, rockier. Hang on – maybe that’s Johnny Winter… Anyway, this song is weird. It sounds as if it’s trying to be a 50’s song and a 70’s song at the same time, but for me it doesn’t work. The only thing I liked about it was the Paul McCartney-ish break starting at 2:47. (It’s after that demented piano solo.) This won’t be any help to Edgar Winter, but when the song had finished I thought I’d just listened to a track by Emitt Rhodes.

Ian Hunter – “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (1975)

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Now you’re talkin’. Great, great, great song. I adore this track – and always have. I adore every single thing about it, such as: Ian Hunter beginning proceedings with a cheeky “‘Allo”; the lyrics (fabulous); the drum break and then BANG! into the extra heavy second-half of the song; Mick Ronson‘s guitar playing (whenever I listen to his playing in “Once Bitten Twice Shy” I’m convinced that he’s one of the greatest guitarists to have ever strapped on a Gibson Les Paul); and the production (I love the sound of records from the 70’s). For me, and this may be sacrilege, I actually prefer the shorter version of the song, because it takes its time fading, thereby leaving you with the impression that it could go on forever, whereas the full version actually does end, which I find disappointing (because I don’t want it to end). But I still think it’s a great, great, great song.

Hal Ketchum – “Small Town Saturday Night” (1991)

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Twang! The thing I love about country is the guitar playing (twang!). The thing I loathe about country are those thick, “this is mah curntree sowng coz ahm singin ’bout surmthin’ ah lurv” accents (you even get those accents in Australian country songs, and I don’t know why). Nevertheless, I think “Small Town Saturday Night” is a likeable song, and I liked it. Incidentally, the name of the song instantly reminded me of Paul Kelly‘s “Forty Miles To Saturday Night“. Also incidentally, I found out that Hal Ketchum recorded a cover of Todd Rundgren‘s “I Saw The Light” which I’m going to hunt down and listen to as soon as possible. (Update: Found it. Hal’s version is nice.)

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